COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - One by one, concerned citizens took to the podium, addressing the Russell County School board and its decision not to renew superintendent Dr. Yevette Richardson's contract.
After hearing testimonies from parents, Board Member Joseph Williams asked the board to suspend the rules and vote to extend Dr. Richardson's contract for three years, and once again the vote was no.
"Three to four, along racial lines. When we hired her the firm suggested to us she was the top in the state of Alabama," says Williams.
Williams and some parents believe the vote was racially charged since the three members who voted in favor of Dr. Richardson were black and the four who voted against her were white.
"It's not a racist vote. There are other things that come into play. We have to deal with the superintendent in ways the public doesn't' know," says Larry Laney.
"Folks are standing on the racial division and pointing fingers at each other and really not working together," says parent Charles Hollowell.
"I don't have a race card in my deck, so I can't play a race card," added Keith Mitchell.
Mitchell says as of now Richardson's contract will end June of 2010.
Richardson says she's focused on the key initiatives for the school district in the upcoming school year.
"We will have the option to renegotiate at a later date if we think she is the one to continue to lead us," says Mitchell.